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Aesthetic Revolution

window seat in family room with cathedral ceilings

Frank Shirley Architects transforms a dreary Dutch Colonial into a detailed Tudor Revival.

The homeowners of an outdated and worn-down 1928 Dutch Colonial needed a complete refurbishing. They turned to Frank Shirley Architects, a Cambridge-based firm—with a unique request: to turn an average home, deprived of architectural interest, into a Tudor Revival masterpiece.

Every square inch of this home was transformed, inside and out, into its new style. “The Tudor style originated in England in the 1500s,” says Frank Shirley. “International travel increased in the 19th century, allowing architects to explore other regions and inspiring new aesthetics. Tudor Revival then became an approach that evolved from England’s Tudor period.”

front view of a home

Front view of tudor revival home

Shirley embraced the materials and construction methods of the era to evoke the Tudor Revival style, including expressive timber-framing with stucco infill. “To capture the craft of Tudor Revival, we used three coats of plaster as in the original stucco process”, says Shirley. “The timber-framing is hand-hewn white oak, known for its excellent performance in harsh climates.


Shirley’s assiduous pursuit of Tudor Revival artisanship extends throughout the house. For example, the entry door is white oak, with functional, hand-forged strap hinges, and leaded-glass sidelights. In the kitchen, there are leaded-glass cabinetry doors with wrought iron hardware. Shirley left his creative mark at the oak island with hand-carved fleur-de-lis applied to the panels.

front door

While staying true to traditional elements, Frank Shirley Architects did not turn its back on 21st century technology and lifestyle. Inside, the floor plan is open and the kitchen is the heart of the home. Rooms are light-filled, and there is a strong connection between indoor and outdoor living. The walls and roof are super-insulated, and tech controls everything from the heating system to the entry door (yep, you can see a visitor and unlock the door for her from your phone).

kitchen barstools

This home is set to please owners for many more generations.

Photography by Randy O’Rourke

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